Have you ever wondered what lies behind that can of tuna on your shelf? Where is your tuna from, how is it caught and how does it get from the water to your kitchen?
The global tuna industry for too long has tried to hide the hidden costs of tinned tuna caught in the Pacific and elsewhere often comes with at-risk marine life, such as rays, sharks, turtles, and even whales and dolphins. Intensive use of fish aggregation devices (FADs) with purse seine nets are to blame for high levels of bycatch and even threaten the very basis of the fishery itself by catching large numbers of baby tuna. Tuna brands know this, that’s why many have already changed their policies.
The majority of the world’s tuna industry is refusing to drop purse seine FAD fishing and refuses to acknowledge science that shows it’s destructive fishing’s impact on our oceans. Make no mistake: current tuna fishing practices in much of the Pacific are needlessly destructive and contributing to tuna populations declining. This is why Pacific Island Nations are introducing extended bans on the use of the more destructive tuna fishing methods and have already closed areas between their national waters to some fishing.
Last year, footage was captured of some gruesome bycatch on a Pacific tuna fishing vessel. It is not for the weak of stomach, but here, recorded by our whistle blower, is what many tuna fishing vessels bring up with their catch. This is what fishing on FADs looks like:
You can choose to buy tuna caught responsibly. Ask that your supermarkets stock sustainable tuna products originating from pole and line, hand-line, troll or FAD free purse seine fisheries. Urge your government to support Pacific Island Nations’ proposals at this year’s Pacific Tuna Commission meeting. Here are some opportunities to take action through Greenpeace worldwide: United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia.
Greenpeace is working around the world to transform the tuna industry. We’re making progress: the tuna industry in the UK has recognised that tuna fishing must change and is now leading the way.
We need to change the way fish are caught, manage our oceans for the benefit of everyone and not just the tuna industry and we need more fully-protected marine reserves. These steps, together, can help create healthy oceans for future generations.